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» Saturday, July 12, 2014In Whick We Evade Sleep Once Again
Yes, folks, it's Ornament Premiere weekend already! So I figured we had two choices: we could go to the Hallmark at the Avenue at West Cobb when it opened at nine, then go on to Hair Day, or get up earlier and go to the Hallmark out at Merchant's Walk, which was opening at eight, hit Trader Joe's afterward if it was open, and then go on to Hair Day. We chose the latter, and as far as I was concerned, it didn't matter because I didn't sleep worth a darn. Urgh.
So we were up at seven, Tucker did all his "good dogs" and we left PBS on for Snowy; fortified with BelVita bars, we drove out to East Cobb through a relatively uncluttered Lower Roswell road, and arrived a little after eight. James actually spent more than I did, but it's because he bought the Star Trek starship, as well as the Rocketeer, El Chupacabra, and this year's airplane, a "Mister Mulligan." (The Blackbird won't be out until October.) I got a mini-Santa for the miniatures tree, the "Father Christmas" which is very woodsy, the Marjolein Bastain bird ornament, and the next "Twelve Days of Christmas" ornament, one of the four calling birds. I also had about $14 worth of coupons, so it helped! Also bought some non-girly everyday wrapping paper on sale.
So we've now discovered how you get front row parking at Trader Joe's: arrive before nine o'clock. We bought some coffee cake and some brownie bites, plus some chips, for Hair Day, and restocked chicken sausage, some chips for James' lunchbox, some dark chocolate mini peanut butter cups for desserts, raw cashews for cooking, and a few other things. We mentioned to the cashier that we weren't going straight home, so she got us a water bottle that had been frozen to put in with the sausage and the chocolate. And when it thaws, we have some water. As it turned out, that was a good thing.
A small crowd, but once again another nice Hair Day. Someone had brought fruit and doughnuts to go along with our cake, and later there were Kosher cold cuts for sandwiches. Colin was talking up a storm about his new job, and Terica had the exciting news that she is going to retire in January. I'm happy for her, but pretty depressed for me! <wry grin>
Today was also the final Brittrack Meet'n'Greet before the picnic and ultimately before DragonCon, so we left about noon to get there by one. Went back the way we came (through my favorite local ride via Villa Rica Road and the horse farms) and had no trouble, parking in the municipal parking lot behind Johnnie MacCracken's, which, we discovered after we paid the five dollars last time, is free on weekends. It had been foggy and cool when we left the house; it definitely wasn't now, the sun beating down on us like a grill flame, and going into the dark pub was a relief. It was a small crowd, ten folks besides us, and Alan actually got to show up; he usually has to work (instead he has to close tonight; urgh). Ironically Rob couldn't come, because he did have to work. Alan was talking about a small convention he'd gone to near Huntsville, and Caro and Jason are getting an Australian shepherd puppy soon.
Last time we were here I was wild about their potato/leek/barley soup and was determined to have it again, and I also got a bit freakish and picked something for a side called Irish tater tot nachos: tater tots with corned beef and cheese on them. Well, the latter was delicious. But the soup...I have no idea what happened with the soup. What I got in June was a thick, rich, creamy soup stuffed with potatoes. Today they brought me something thin and yellowish with grease bubbles on top. It had barley and leeks in it all right, but absolutely no potatoes. I blinked at the waiter owlishly. "Are you sure this is the potato leek soup?" because, honestly, it looked and tasted like badly made tortilla soup. He said it was. I didn't eat it and he took it off the bill. Ugh. James had the shepherd's pie which he said he expected to be savory and it was actually kind of sweet. Mike and Kelly were sitting with us and Mike's fish (as in fish and chips) were overcooked, and the Irish soda bread James and Kelly got with their shepherd's pie was burned on the edges. The waiter said they were shorthanded in the kitchen but that was a bit much. Really disappointed.
So afterwards we did as last time, walked over to the Corner Shop to stock up on British treats, and finally to SweeTreats for desserts. We had cups this time instead of cones; simply too much ice cream in the cones. I had coffee and cinnamon mixed with chocolate. The cinnamon's been coming up on me all night. Otherwise, quite tasty!
Everyone started splitting up by then (it was about three o'clock) and we figured at this point we too were heading home. Fate had a rude surprise in store, though, as we rounded the corner back to the parking lot with Mike and Kelly about ten feet in front of us. They were stopped in the parking lot and I heard Mike say "I think our car's been stolen!"
Well, they'd come in late, and had also parked behind the pub. Unfortunately they missed the sign in their hurry to arrive—the one that said the parking lot closest to the building was private; I mean, their car was cattycorner to the truck, but on the wrong side of the parking area. So their car had been towed. The sign said they had to call a number and bring a jaw-dropping amount in cash to someplace on Commerce Street. Well, how in the heck they were supposed to do that in the middle of downtown Marietta? It's not like it's overflowing with ATMs or cabs. It's a good thing we were there! James programmed the address into his GPS and then took Kelly to find an ATM to get the money and to pick up the car. Mike and I went back into the pub to sit. The waitress told us that the owner of the lot keeps a camera in there and immediately nabs anyone who doesn't come into his kiln shop. Mike was fit to be tied, and the woman who answered the phone didn't help as she was really rude to him.
But it all ended happily, besides there being that horrendous fine: they made it back before five; if they hadn't they couldn't have picked up the car until Monday. James said Kelly kept thanking him, but goodness, what kind of people would we have been if we just abandoned them there? God knows after ten minutes of standing in that hot sun, my heart was pounding like a bass drum, and I was so glad to sit back down in the pub. For a few minutes I was afraid it would never stop beating so hard. I wouldn't have left anyone in that predicament.
Finally it was back home to cool off and get in some Tucker and Snowy time. We watched most of Brave (except for the part which was pre-empted by a thunderstorm that sprang up out of nowhere) and Snowy sang his way through the score. Tucker has already teased some stuffing out of his new mouse!
And as of ten minutes ago I shut the television off because I simply can't stand the damn thing yammering anymore...